IHE Delft Associate Professor of Storage and Hydropower, Dr. Miroslav Marence was quoted in an article on the challenges facing the Three Gorges Dam in China, published by CNN on 1 August 2020.
Construction of the Three Gorges Dam started in 1994 with the dual aim of generating electricity for China's fast-growing economy and also to tame China's longest river, protect millions of people from fatal floods, while, at the same time becoming a symbol of national pride. The dam took almost two decades to build, at a cost of 200 billion yuan ($28.6 billion) and recent extreme weather conditions have shown it to be less effective in preventing flooding than anticipated.
The Yangtze basin saw its heaviest average rainfall in nearly 60 years since June this year, causing the river and its many tributaries to overflow. More than 158 people have died or gone missing, 3.67 million residents have been displaced and 54.8 million people have been affected, causing a 144 billion yuan ($20.5 billion) in economic losses. According to Miroslav, such a huge dam cannot stop flooding, it could just mitigate the flood intensity by buffering the flood wave.
He adds, “Dams have environmental and social impact and these impacts have to be detected and mitigated during the construction and operation. Building of the dam must be a compromise between the dam function and impact on nature.”
To read the article, click here